Mariam Regine Guevara has been interested in society, culture and religion since her school days. She has just explored different faiths, delved into Islam and recently embraced it as her faith. She was among the guest of the Interfaith and the Future of the Earth and she represented the youth sector.
Aside from Islamic youth communities, her growing circle of friends come from multi-religious backgrounds, and she aims to gather them into a healthy interfaith dynamics. Thus, she invited them over at her home in Quezon City last April 20 for a get-together dinner and for an interesting, in-depth interfaith dialogue among her youth friends.
Love was chosen as a topic as it is explored in perspectives of different religions. Mariam invited Rem Tanauan of Pathfinders’ Commune to facilitate the dialogue.
Most of her friends who attended the event are Moslems, but there were also participants coming from different Christian denominations and other beliefs. Some are nonreligious/agnostic. Others are expatriates who came from Turkey and France. They were all 22 participants.
The entire discussion revolved around two subjects: first, the difference between human love and divine love; and second, romantic love and interfaith marriage between two different religions.
Here are some of the beautiful insights generated by the youth participants in the dialogue (The participant’s name who quoted each sentence was enclosed in parentheses):
“Love is a treasure of our heart and life is the way to find this treasure.” (Abi)
“Love is about valuing someone and something; it is all about treasuring and connection.” (Zen)
“We cannot separate Romantic Love and Divine Love.” (Mona Liza)
“Loving has a goal – reaching and experiencing the Divine.” (Ara)
“Love has no perfect definition; it is always felt.” (Mike)
“Love is selfish, that is why it’s selfless.” (Jane)
“Love is the center.” (Nada)